He may sport a jersey with No. 7 written on the back, but senior Adam Bruh has relied on anything but luck to get to where he is today – co-captain of the Michigan men’s soccer team.

Currently holding the Michigan career record for assists (28) and the program’s record for assists in a season (13 in 2002), Bruh has worked his way up to having a commanding presence on the field – and he points to his club soccer days as the main crux of his development.

The Roslyn Heights, N.Y., native named his club soccer coach, Paul Riley, as a big influence on his life both on and off the field.

“We talk on a regular basis – and not just always about soccer,” Bruh said. “I was fortunate enough to have a coach who didn’t just care about soccer, but stuff outside of the game also.”

For eight years, from 1993 to 2001, Bruh played for Riley on the Albertson Animals, where he started as an attacking midfielder – which is also his current position as a Wolverine.

“Adam is different from most regular players,” Riley said. “He’s comfortable on the ball and makes beautiful passes. He’s very creative. For a big guy, he’s got great balance too. He was very classy (at a young age) and got better as he got older.”

Bruh was the captain of the Albertson Animals for the last three years he played for the team. Riley explained that, at an early age, Bruh demonstrated impressive leadership qualities that have contributed to his development as an effective leader for Michigan. He mentioned that Bruh was always the go-to guy for the club team and took nearly every free kick the squad earned.

Michigan coach Steve Burns also pointed to Bruh as a focal point of the Wolverine contingent.

“Bruh has this 320-degree vision of the field,” Burns said. “He knows what’s going on all over the place. If you watch Bruh, and not the soccer ball, he sees all the space manipulation happening.”

Riley pointed to Bruh’s concept of sacrifice as the most important part of Bruh’s ascent to collegiate stardom.

“Adam had good leadership qualities and always stayed after practice,” Riley said. “We trained no matter what conditions. It didn’t matter. He was always out there. He did a lot of things on his own. He was willing to give up a lot for the game, even as a kid 16 years old. Bruh sacrificed a lot. If he didn’t do that, he wouldn’t be where he is today.”

Bruh has tallied two goals on the season and is tied for the team lead in assists (4) with freshman Jake Stacy and fellow co-captain Ryan Sterba.

Individual statistics for Bruh, though, fall far short of what really matters to him as a Wolverine.

“As a senior, you want to contribute to the program as much as you can,” Bruh said. “But sometimes you can get caught up in making your legacy, and it can be dangerous. You have to keep everyone focused and always conscious of the team’s goals – to win for Michigan is the most important thing.”

But Bruh has, indeed, created a legacy for himself – on and off the field.

“I just think Adam was one of those kids you remember forever,” Riley said. “He became my adopted son. He loves the game so much.”

Bruh plans on entering the MLS combine at the end of January in hopes of playing professionally after his career at Michigan ends this season. In preparation for this next step, Bruh has been in contact with Michigan graduate Knox Cameron, who currently plays with the Columbus Crew.

“Adam has a lot of potential to make it to the next level,” Riley said. “I’ve been there when he’s been injured, when he’s been happy and when he’s been down. He’s a brilliant kid with a fantastic personality. I hope he goes on to MLS. I think he deserves it.”

 

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